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12 Reasons You Aren’t Making Use of Customer Insights

Christine Moorman

Customer insights can be extremely valuable for marketers… so why are fewer companies using them than in 2011? Duke University’s Christine Moorman gives 12 culprits. ​

​Customer insights are an essential element in any marketing plan. Insights give rise to innovations, new go-to-market strategies and new business models. They can also produce critical tactical-level improvements in marketing activities.  

So it is disappointing that the February 2016 edition of The CMO Survey​, which surveyed 289 U.S.-based marketing leaders, finds that those marketers report a slight reduction in their companies’ development and use of customer insights, compared to data from 2011 to the present. If customer insights are so important, why aren’t these numbers increasing? Here are twelve culprits worth a good look: 

1 Weak theory development skills. 

Developing insights requires strong theory development skills. This means that managers must connect disparate observations and information obtained from various sources and methods to derive novel explanations about customers. 

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Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch Sr. Professor of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, founder and director of The CMO Survey and the editor-in-chief of Journal of Marketing.